Board of Directors
Yasmin Batliwala JP - Chair
Yasmin Batliwala has over 18 years experience chairing complex organisations in the Public Sector. She has been a Non-Executive Director of the Hertfordshire Partnership (NHS) Foundation Trust, Chair of the Hertfordshire Police Authority, Chair of the Watford Community Safety Partnership and Co-Director of the Police National Assessment Centre. She is the CEO of an organisation called Advocates for International Development (A4ID), which sources lawyers to provide free legal advice and assistance to support organisations working in international development and whose principle aim is the eradication of poverty.
Her portfolio includes involvement in the areas of HIV/Aids, Drug and Alcohol dependency, and Crime. She has undertaken work for the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime in this regard. Yasmin sits also on the Mental Health Review Tribunal, and she was Chair of the Fostering and Permanency Panel which specialises in the placement of exceptionally vulnerable children.
Yasmin has worked as a Senior Specialist for the Audit Commission, an independent watchdog, with responsibility for ensuring the delivery of high impact value for money assessments of public sector service providers.
In addition, Yasmin has an extensive background in the field of substance misuse, having managed the Substance Misuse Unit at the NHS's North East Thames Regional Health Authority. Yasmin started her career undertaking ‘action’ research for the Department of Health into drug use within SW5 and Soho with the intention of making recommendations for service provision to this transient group. During this time she worked exclusively with drug users who were neither accessing nor engaging with services. The experience she gained during this time has fired Yasmin's passion for ensuring that services are directly geared to meeting service users' needs and not those of service providers or commissioners.
Finally, Yasmin has been a Magistrate since 1990 and until recently was Deputy Chair of the Bench.
Gillian Benning - Director
Gillian Benning is a practicing solicitor. She is a consultant at Saunders Law Partnership LLP. She is also a member of the Panel of Solicitors Assistance Scheme.
Raj Boyjoonauth - Director
Raj Boyjoonauth was the Deputy Director for the Addictions and Offender Care Services at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL – SMOCs). He is currently a master trainer and consultant to UNODC.
Dr Gul Dhanani - Director
As well as being a long-standing Board member, Gul became WDP’s Clinical Director in November 2011, leading on medical practice across the organisation. She is a trained doctor and psychiatrist with 40 years’ experience of working with addiction and an impressive track record of being involved in setting up community prescribing services and working in residential services such as the NHS, Wormwood Scrubs, and City Roads. In addition to this, Gul is a Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist with the Central and North West London Foundation Trust (CNWLFT) and has also been appointed Honorary Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist to the dedicated drug court by the West London Magistrates Court.
Mark Eaton – Director
Mark is the former Chair of The Core Trust. He is a chartered surveyor, specialising in Residential Development & Asset Management in the public sector. His current focus is on the provision of numerous educational and community facilities.
Richard Paul – Director of Finance
Richard undertakes the role of Director of Finance on the WDP Board of Directors. He is a chartered accountant and senior partner of Nyman Libson Paul Chartered Accountants. Richard specialises in a number of different sectors, including owner managed businesses, property, leisure, and the film and TV industry.
James Saunders - Director
James is senior partner in a firm of solicitors that specialise in criminal and regulatory work.